Apr 4 – 8, 2022
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
America/Toronto timezone

Gravitational-wave observations of compact binary mergers

Apr 6, 2022, 2:00 PM
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

31 Caroline St. N. Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 1C2


Patricia Schmidt (University of Birmingham)


The first direct detection of gravitational waves from merging black holes in 2015 has opened up new avenues to studying gravity in the strong-field regime, inferring the mass and spin distributions of astrophysical black holes and probing the nature of ultra-dense nuclear matter in the interior of neutron stars. Seven years on, we count approximately 100 detections of gravitational waves from compact binary mergers.

These observations are goldmines for precise measurements of the source properties and the discovery of new physics at the edge of our current understanding. Pioneering innovations in detector technology will soon let us put black holes under a microscope, allowing us to push Einstein's theory of gravity to the limit. To do so will require exquisitely accurate theoretical models for the emitted gravitational-wave signal if we are to unlock the full discovery potential.

In this talk, I will discuss some of the most spectacular discoveries from the third observing run of Advanced LIGO and Virgo and their implications. I will also highlight some of the pitfalls and challenges in interpreting gravitational-wave detections.

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